Tag Archives: escuela crisol

“Entra en el Teatro”- course with Carles Codina / part 1

At the beginning of this month I had the pleasure of attending a course with the renowned jeweler and teacher Carles Codina i Armengol. He came to Escuela Crisol last year, and I could not attend unfortunately, so I was very happy to be able to make it this year.
Carles and Jordi (my teacher) go way back, as they studied together at Escola Massana, one of the leading art and design schools in Europe. They are still good friends, and lucky for us in Costa Rica, they decided to collaborate and bring amazing courses across the Atlantic.

Last year the classes were mostly practical, and I hear they learned how to make mokume-gane, among other cool and complicated techniques.
This year the plan was different. The approach was focused on the conceptual part of jewelry design, geared specifically to the design of a piece of jewelry to be sold at the gift shop in the Costa Rican National Theater. We were to design a piece inspired by the theater itself, to serve as a souvenir to whichever target group we were to choose (habitual opera fans and theater buffs, or in-and-out-in-five-minutes tourists), and in turn choose a price point to correspond with the spending habits of each group. The piece had to include packaging, so it could be displayed in it, and be packed quickly upon purchase, and hopefully, the packaging would be appealing and special enough to draw the consumer in and add value to the piece itself. It was a tall order for a class that would last less than 10 days- but we did it!

To begin the whole thing we all visited the Teatro Nacional to take pictures. I have to confess that I hadn’t been there in years (probably since elementary school). This theater is considered one of Costa Rica’s architectural jewels, and it was built in the 1890s with money earned by the country through a tax imposed on coffee export (one of CR’s major industries still to this day). The style of the theater is very interesting, as it mixes European influence with images of Costa Rican agricultural images- more specifically, the Alegoría del café y el banano (Allegory of coffee and banana), by artist Aleardo Villa.

Here are some images from our visit:

floor pattern and the group looking up / mirror detail / numbered seats

the Allegory of coffee and banana: image on our ¢5 bill / lady picking coffee

elaborate doorknob / ceiling light fixture

foyer / wall detail in the foyer, 1890

floor pattern made with national precious woods / cool floor tile / big lamp in the theater

Though I didn’t get any pictures of the outside, it’s very beautiful as well, so google it :). Until the next installment.

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Filed under always learning, where props are due

Playing with fire, part 1

I took a very very cool class at the school this weekend: low tech casting. It’s just as exciting and fun as it sounds. It pretty much involved playing with fire, burning stuff and looking at the amazing results.

Safety first!

Melt your metal of choice. We used brass to go easy on our pockets. And it’s very pretty too.

Experiment #1: lentils.

Pan it out. Make sure the metal has already cooled down because the green thing is made of plastic.

The result!

Second try: flax seeds. Very slimy.

We had other organic stuff lined up for the metal.

After I poured in the brass (which went straight down to the bottom), it kept boiling and burning for a good minute. That’s why we used steel cups. This flax seed experiment burned the bottom of this little cup, so you see how plastic would’ve caused a nasty foot burn.

And a mushroom was the result. Of all people, the mushroom had to be mine.

Lima bean experiment.

We all had some great fun I have to say. This class is sooo much fun. And it’s always good to experiment with new techniques with other people who enjoy it too. Thank you to Julieta our teacher!

This is only one of the techniques we learned! Stay tuned for the next batch of photos soon.

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Seeds and beans in bags

Lima beans, lentils and flax seeds in water overnight.

Preparation for a class I’m taking today at the school, Crisol. Curious???

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Back in the workshop

Finally! I’m slowly getting back into the groove of things. I moved home over a month ago and it’s taken me a while to get my bearings and settle in. I’m happy to be back at the school, working side by side with Jordi, Nati, Gabi, Julieta, and all the students.

The photo on the left is a little preview of some new rings by Groc, and they’ll be listed on Etsy in the next few days. The other ring pics are mine, some stuff I’ve been making just because. And my other venture is on the bottom right: mushrooms (I’ll explain later).

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Filed under my jewelry, process